The Pilgrim’s Way from Rome to Jerusalem is the route of St. Peter to Rome and of all early Christians to Jerusalem, from the 5th cent to the 7th, and from the 12th to the 15th cent. This route can be regarded as the continuation of the “Via Francigena” and the traveller may choose to go from Ireland to Jerusalem, without interruption. The Appian Way (Via Appia) was called the “Queen of Roads” by the Romans, as it was the first to be built and remained the most important route of the Romans to the East. Medieval travellers used the Appian Way up to Benevento where they left it for the easier and more recent New Trajan Way, built by Emperor Trajan in the 2nd C. AD. This has been fully retraced and it can be closely followed by means of modern roads. If the modern pilgrim so wishes, he may walk the parts of this road which are mere country lanes, to recapture the spirit of an earlier age, away from traffic noises and modern developments, through the rolling hills of Campania and Apulia. From Brindisi most pilgrims would sail to Jerusalem, but those who went on foot crossed to Dyrrachum or Apollonia on the coast of present-day Albania, and followed the Via Egnatia up the rough Pindus mountains to Lake Ochrid.
Rome to the Holy Land Descending upon Thessalonika after a pretty rough and dangerous journey, the pilgrim would follow the coastal road to Istanbul. Nowadays the journey through Albania might result even more dangerous than in ancient times, therefore our route avoids Albania altogether. Our ferry from Brindisi will come ashore at Igoumenitza in Epirus, from whence it follows the highway across the Pindus mountains through Joannina and Metzovo to descend upon Trikkala and Meteora, famous for its extraordinary monasteries perched up on outcrops of rock. During the 13th and 16th centuries pilgrims would tend to sail from Venice on an expensive and dangerous sea journey along the Dalmatian coast, and skirting Greece, Crete, and Cyprus. Only the very wealthy could afford such journeys as the passage from Venice and the, tolls and taxes imposed by the Muslim rulers of the Holy Land were exorbitantly high. A “cheap” pilgrimage might cost up to £ 50.000 pounds, a “normal” one up to £ 150.000. Clearly only the very wealthy could afford such trip. Today the trip is much more affordable and anyone can have the privilege of visiting the Holy Land and can do it in absolute safety.